This pattern is very basic and designed for the absolute novice, so I’ve kept everything as simple as possible. I have included some alterations at the end if you want to ‘spruce’ it up.
M1 Measure from the top of your shoulder down to the desired length.
M2 Measure around the largest part of your body. (For men this is usually the chest, the hips for women.) Divide this measurement by 2 then add 4 inches.
For example, if the largest part of your body measures 36”, divide that by 2 to get 18, then add 4. Your M2 measurement is 22”.
You Will Need:
Use a natural (bamboo, burlap, cotton, linen, wool, etc.) fabric, in solid white, brown, gray, or black.
- Fabric 45” wide by a length that’s twice of measurement M1. If the fabric is washable, add 6” for shrinkage.
- Coordinating thread
- Pins, tailor’s chalk, or other means to mark the fabric.
- Sewing machine or needles if you will be hand sewing.
- Measuring tape
If your fabric is washable, wash and dry it before cutting. Washing will sometimes skew the fabric. If needed, recut the cut ends to make them square.
Fold the fabric in half from top to bottom and cut the folded fabric to M1” long.
Cut the width to M2” wide.
Keeping the fabric folded, fold again from side to side.
Mark and cut the front neck opening as follows:
From the fold line at the center top edge of the fabric:
- Measure down 4” and mark with a pin.
- Measure across 4” and mark with a pin.
- Draw a curved line from pin to pin.
- Cutting through all the layers, cut out the neck opening. Figure 1.
Unfold once. On the outer edges of one side, measure down from the fold 15 inches and mark with a pin. This will be your armhole.
With right sides together, pin the front to the back down the side from the armhole mark all the way to the bottom. Sew the seam. Figure 2.
Do the same for the other armhole/side.
Try it on.
Make adjustments to the neck by cutting the scoop a little deeper an inch or so at a time. To make the armholes smaller, sew from the armhole mark up an inch or so at a time.
Congratulations, you’re done!
Making it your own
This robe is literally a blank canvas. It is SO easy to adapt to just about anything that suits you.
- Add sleeves, see the next section.
- Sew a simple or fancy trim around the neck, bottom, and/or sleeve openings.
- Add trim in a straight line down the front.
- Split the front from top to bottom; then finish off. Add a closure with buttons, ties, or nothing at all.
- Leave the side seams open from the bottom to the top of your thighs. This will make it easier to sit cross-legged.
- Add a belt using the trim or satin/silk rope.
- Add buttons, fringe, or tassels.
- Adorn the edges of the robe or the belt with objects found on your pilgrimages.
To make the same robe with sleeves
Adding sleeves to this robe requires more knowledge about sewing garments.
Instructions are the same as above, but adding the below to each section.
Cut two rectangles, each measuring 10” wide by 40” long from the excess cut-away material.
For the sleeve rectangles, fold each in half and mark the midpoint location with a pin. This is the top of the shoulder.
With right sides together, pin the sleeve rectangle to the body, matching the pin to the shoulder seam. Sew sleeves to the body. Press seams toward the sleeve.
With right sides together and sleeves open, fold at the shoulder and pin the side seams and underarm seams. Sew the sides and underarms. Press seams open.
I’d love to see what you make. Post a picture on the RA forum.